Lekhi denies responding to Hamas query in LS, MEA says needed technical correction
Kumbakudi Sudhakaran, a lawmaker from the Congress party, had questioned whether the government had any proposal to declare the Gaza-based Hamas a terrorist organisation in India and whether the Israeli government had made any demand in this regard to India
The external affairs ministry clarified on Saturday that minister of state V Muraleedharan should have been listed as the official replying to a parliamentary question after minister of state Meenakshi Lekhi said she had not responded to the query as shown in documents posted on official websites.
After the documents showed that Lekhi had provided the reply to a question on whether the government had any proposal to outlaw the group Hamas, she said in a post on X that she had not “signed any paper with this question and this answer”.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi clarified after several hours that the documents needed a “technical correction”.
“We have noted that Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No 980 answered on 8 December 2023 needs a technical correction in terms of reflecting Shri V Muraleedharan as the minister of state replying to the parliament question,” Bagchi said in a brief statement.
“This is being suitably undertaken,” he said without giving details of how the error had occurred.
Kumbakudi Sudhakaran, a lawmaker from the Congress party, had questioned whether the government had any proposal to declare the Gaza-based Hamas a terrorist organisation in India and whether the Israeli government had made any demand in this regard to India.
The written reply in documents posted on official websites said: “Designation of an organisation as terrorist is covered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and declaring any organisation as terrorist is considered as per the provisions of the Act by the relevant government departments.”
The Israeli government has made several requests for India to outlaw Hamas after the group carried out terror attacks in southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people and injured scores.
India has condemned the terror attacks and civilian casualties in Israeli attacks on Gaza, which have killed more than 15,000 people. India has also called for a return to dialogue to establish lasting peace through a two-state solution.
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